Napa Valley blends wine and Internet for charity

Napa Valley blends wine and Internet for charity
  • Internet will blend with coveted vintages to open a premier Napa Valley wine country charity auction to the world.
Internet technology will blend with coveted vintages next week to open a premier Napa Valley wine country charity auction to the world.

Oenophiles from anywhere on the globe will be able to bid in real-time against rivals at the Auction Napa Valley site for lots featured online at

"We like to say you can have a virtual Napa Valley experience from wherever you are in the world -- you could bid in your pajamas if you want to," said Andy Schweiger of Schweiger Vineyards, who heads the auction's online component.

"It's a never-before-seen, really amazing global outreach that brings together the best of Napa Valley, all for great causes that support healthcare, youth services and affordable housing non-profit programs."

Online bidders will get to duel with rivals lucky enough to be able to take part in auction festivities that start June 3 and culminates during the weekend in a live auction at the prestigious Meadowood Napa Valley resort.

Bidders able to make it to the Napa Valley venue will be able for the first time to use smartphones to access information about lots by snapping pictures of "QR codes" that automatically connect them to data hosted online.

Online bidding gets under way on May 29 and will continue into the evening of June 5 in California.

"I don't know of any charity wine auction that engages the wine-loving community so broadly," said Linda Reiff, executive director of the Napa Valley Vintners Association trade group behind the event.

"The discussion on social media has been fantastic and the excitement is gaining momentum every day."

This is the 31st year for the annual charity event, which has raised a total of $97 million, according to Reiff.

"This is our chance to take this venerable charity auction to the next level," Reiff said of opening the event to the world using Internet technologies.


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